Once your little one is on the move, it means you have a trusty shadow accompanying you with everything you do. So how do you look after yourself and get some “me time” with your little one in tow?
At this stage, your little one will hopefully have settled into a solid sleep routine, so you will be able to spend a little more time attending to your needs while they are sleeping. But when they are awake, you need to find ways that allow you to get things done that works for both of you and that usually means doing it together.
Your little one is probably keen to get out and about. This can include crawling through the local sandpit at the park, or toddling along when you go for a walk. So pop on your exercise gear when you head out and let them have a play.
You can make sandcastles together or gently encourage them with their walking. Once they’ve had enough, pop them in the stroller and do a couple of brisk laps round the park yourself. You can also use bub for some gentle weights if you like!
A full length mirror is the magical answer to getting your make-up on in peace.
In the morning, once your little one has been fed and clothed in the morning it is your turn!
Simply pop them in a stroller place them in front of the full length mirror.
Your bub will enjoy looking at their reflection in the mirror and you can usually do your make-up in relative peace and quiet.
The days of a long leisurely coffee date with girlfriends will be on hold for a while. However, it is still possible to catch up with friends for a little while if you plan your outing carefully. Make sure you plan your catch up for when bub has had a nap and is refreshed.
Choose a location where children are welcome, or preferably somewhere with a safe play space. Bring your own supply of little snacks to ensure bub is fed. If your friend is child free then it is best to let them know in advance that it is unlikely you can stay for more than an hour.
If they have a favourite book or toy that you know will keep your little one occupied, bring that along with you as well. This can buy you some valuable extra minutes at the end of a coffee date.
Lots of parents prefer to order their shopping online rather than battle shops with an active baby in tow. However, sometimes it is simply unavoidable.
The key to a successful outing is to be organised. Make a list so you know exactly what you need and time your visits for when the shops are going to be quiet. This will usually mean early or mid morning or afternoon.
You should head to the shops once bub has had a nap and is fed and watered. They are far less likely to start demanding things if their tummy is full.
Let your little one “help” you. This means letting them help pop the apples you’ve chosen in the bag or engaging them in conversation as you choose the products you want to place in the trolley. For instance: “which of these oranges looks better to you?” or “What colour shampoo shall I get, the blue or the red?”
For most parents this is an activity they’d rather do solo. But occasionally you’ll simply have to bring your little one along with you while you purchase yourself some new clothes.
Apart from making sure bub has a full tummy and is well rested, you need to bring distractions with you. It might be a loved toy or book. Alternatively, you might have favourite songs on your phone they love listening to. Pop some earphones on bub and keep them occupied that way.
It’s best to keep bub in a stroller and to choose stores with large changing rooms. Make sure you keep them strapped in, and under your watchful gaze at all times. They’re usually very interested in the mirrors and watching you as you try to do rapid changes of clothing!
With anything involving bringing bub with you remember to be flexible. It’s important to accept that even with the best will in the world sometimes things won’t work out. Your bub may decide to have a meltdown, or you simply can’t get through your to-do list. Tomorrow is a new day.